We Can Understand The Bible Alike!
It is common to hear people claim, “We cannot understand the Bible alike.” So, since they believe we cannot understand the Bible alike, they claim that the divisions that exist in the religious world will necessarily occur. They say that one opinion is just as good as another because it is impossible to understand the Bible alike. Yet, the Bible was written in a way so that it could be understood and applied by all in the same way.
1) God only revealed “one faith.” Ephesians 4:5 says that there is only “one faith.” Now, this does not mean that everyone must just believe in Jesus in order to be saved (though that is part of it). Instead, this phrase means that there is only one system of religious belief, teaching, and practice that is acceptable to God. Now, this faith has once for all been revealed in the pages of the Bible. For instance, Philippians 1:27 commands Christians to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Jude 1:3 wrote to exhort Christians to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Therefore, the entirety of the New Testament’s teaching forms the “one faith” that God has revealed – and that true Christians must “stand fast” in.
2) God condemns division. If it is impossible to understand the Bible and to understand it alike, then division would be a necessary thing – simply because people would be incapable of agreeing on the Bible. Yet, God condemns division. For instance, whenever Jesus prayed in John 17, He prayed for unity among those who would believe on Him. The degree to which He prayed for unity is seen in verse 23 when He said, “that they be made perfect in one.” Then, in 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul commanded, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Notice that they were to be perfectly united, have no divisions, speak the same thing, be of the same mind, and have the same judgment. Now, if it is impossible to understand the Bible alike, then God has commanded something that we are not capable of obeying. Therefore, the implication is that it is possible to all be united in the faith of the gospel of Christ!
3) Some examples. In reality, there are many people who claim that it is impossible to understand the Bible alike when it comes to doctrinal matters and matters of personal preference, but are inconsistent in their beliefs. For instance, consider the creation of the world. Is one opinion just as good as another when determining how this world began, what God made on each of the days of creation, what the first man and woman were named, etc.? Or, consider the birth of Jesus. Is one interpretation of the Bible just as good as another when determining who Jesus’ mother was, where Jesus was born, etc.? Of course not! We all understand that we can turn in the Bible and locate the exact answers to these questions. So, one opinion is not just as good as another. Instead, we must accept the true Bible answers! Now, recognize that the same thing is true throughout the Bible. Whenever the Bible gives a definitive answer, that is the truth! It is not subject to varying opinions or interpretations any more than the examples just given.
The fact is that we can all understand the Bible alike. In His great wisdom, God has revealed the perfect message of salvation that everyone can follow in a united way. Unfortunately, many people have allowed their prejudices and preconceived ideas to cloud their ability to understand the Scriptures in the way God has revealed them. This has resulted in great religious division. But, if we will simply search the Scriptures diligently and rightly apply what is written, we can all be in perfect agreement in one faith!